Remember all the old jokes that begin: “Whatdaya get when you….”. Well that’s the logic of mashups and it’s a mighty important one to apply to generate “breakthrough” ideas.
A mashup combines material or features from two or more sources, each created for its own purpose. Think of the notes feature in an email program as a simple mashup. Or a hybrid web application like Google Desktop, that combines data and functionality from multiple sources. Or a musical remix combining two or more songs by different artists in a single track. Generating mashups is an important part of creative thinking for innovation.
So we’ll be flagging up mashups every so often, to get you thinking. Here’s one to get you started.
The humble but amusing spin pop
meets the earnest manual toothbrush
And together their mashup makes….
The Spinbrush®: America’s favorite electric toothbrush, powered by double A batteries, priced under $10, and generating over $200 million sales for Proctor & Gamble in a single year.
For more on the mighty Spinbrush story, see the BusinessWeek story in 2002, a tidy summary from the University of Cambridge engineering faculty, Roger Martin’s discussion of A. G. Lafley’s “Connect & Develop” program at Proctor and Gamble in The Opposable Mind and/or William Sahlman’s Harvard Business School case study summarized here.